Barnaby Joyce’s Department has only responded to one question out of the 170 put on notice for the October Senate Estimates.
His Department has had since 24 October to provide the answers. That’s more than seven weeks! Surely his Department could have answered more than one question in that amount of time.
The complete lack of respect for the Parliamentary Senate process is unacceptable.
Barnaby Joyce is not only the Agriculture Minister but also the Deputy Prime Minister and should be setting the highest standard for our Parliamentary processes.
The one question answered by the Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio was question #15. It referred to the credit card expenditure of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) which was unanswered back in May 2017.
The answered question (#15) can be found online.
Senator Glenn Sterle asked the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority CEO Dr Chris Parker on 24 October 2017—
Senator STERLE: We went to written question No. 100 from the last round of estimates where we sought information from a number of agencies, and all the listed agencies were able to provide answers to all 10 questions, except APVMA, which claimed that to answer questions 2, 3 and 5 would be an inefficient use of resources. So I really want to ask you: why?
Dr PARKER: Senator, there are a number of components to that answer. The first component is that I'd been in the job about five days at that stage, and I must say to the Senate and to this committee it is not my preference to answer questions in that manner. That clearly slipped through in the first few days, so I apologise for that in the first instance.
Senator STERLE: We can kiss and make up and move forward from here.
Dr PARKER: What I can say is that I will provide answers to those questions in the next two weeks to this committee.
If the unanswered questions are not provided before the Christmas break the only reasonable conclusion is that Barnaby Joyce’s Department is consumed by the chaos and dysfunction caused by his ill thought-out costly boondoggle pork barrels.